I thank God for giving me the opportunity to interact with the Late Brother (Dr) Cosmas Kiwanuka Kafeero when he was still alive, but ill. There are a number of lessons I learnt. First, who is your neighbor? Towards his death, Brother Kafeero’s neighours could be counted easily. Brother Kafeero would still be alive if people had shown him that parental love. What do I mean here? As a patient, Brother Kafeero on most instances could not get the type of food/eats he would have loved. It is unbelievable that there were no people who would have sustainably supplied this. He had good appetite for fruits, but these were not easily available. There is a time when the Brother longed to get a call from a friend, but the people he thought were friends would never ring till the Brother breathed his last!
If we want patients to sustain on, we need to show them love and care. The Brother up to when he was admitted to Uganda Cancer Institute had his memory of the people who he thought cared for him. He would tell his career Annet Nassali to reach out to those people and seek support.
On Wednesday, February 19, 2014, I prepared myself to visit Brother Kafeero at Uganda Cancer Institute – Old Mulago. This was after my communication to Old Boys of St. Mary’s College Kisubi the previous day that Brother Kafeero had been admitted to Uganda Cancer Institute. I printed out a hard copy of the publication I had edited and published concerning the Brother’s career life. This I recall cost me shs 60,000, but this is what I could do for a friend who I had seen desperate as he struggled to live on. This was not all. I went and purchased 3 boxes of CDs each with 10 pcs, so that I record the publication which I was to deliver to him, all at a cost of about shs 65,000 including the cover labels and labour to cut them. These were meant to help in the fundraising effort to see the Brother supported so that each CD bought would bring in shs 10,000 or more. I am yet to know whether any CDs were bought though I made the publicity. The visit to Brother Kafeero on his hospital bed called for my taking a few photos to share with the Old Boys of SMACK and those who knew the Brother publicizing his state.
On Wednesday, February 26, 2014, I called at Uganda Cancer Institute towards mid day, I found Brother Kafeero on Oxygen, but with all hope gone as his pulse could not be felt and he seemed to be getting cold. I endeavoured to communicate to the Old Boys of St. Mary’s College Kisubi about the development. I had planned to attend the Lecture on the Late Mulwana which was to take place at UMA Hall. Unfortunately, given the developments, I decided to travel back home and prepare myself for whatever was to follow.
I stayed briefly at home and prepared to travel to Kisubi to follow the developments and be part of the process. At Mt. St. Tereza Kisubi, learnt that Brother Kafeero had been pronounced dead around 8.30pm, so a Pick up vehicle of St. Mary’s College Kisubi had been sent to collect the body. Having got to terms with the development, I called on Brother Anthony Kyemwa who had been the neighbor of Brother Kafeero. I told him, “The death of Brother Kafeero was very sad.” I however requested him to connect me to the seniors at Mt. St. Teresa so that I get to work on the Requiem Mass Booklet. Fortunately, I was told that the senior Brothers were to have a meeting and they would give me a feedback.
I then reached out to Kisubi Brothers’ University Computer Laboratory, and requested the in-charge to help me communicate to the Old Boys of St. Mary’s College Kisubi about the death of Brother Kafeero and the burial arrangements. Good enough, I was given opportunity and was able to communicate.
I then witnessed the delivery of Brother Kafeero’s remains to some room next to the Secretary to the Provincials’ Office, where the body was prepared for the final journey and also stayed overnight.
The Brothers’ meeting had agreed to my assistance in making the Requiem Mass booklet, and I was to work hand in hand with Brother Kakooza. Moments after getting where to work from, I realized that I had forgotten the file where photos of Brother Kafeero were and issues concerning him. I decided to travel home to collect these things. Fortunately, I had no problem, and I was back to duty with the cooperation of Brother Kakooza.
After completing the work, I joined those mourners who were in the room where Brother Kafeero’s body lay in state. I was surprised to realize that it was a handful of Brothers who actually stayed around for long. We were able to sing up to morning.
May the god Lord grant Brother (Dr) Cosmas Kiwanuka Kafeero eternal peace.